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Life Begins At 40 Million

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Album Review

By the time that The Bogmen had signed to Arista Records, the band had already managed to secure a rabid live cult following for itself in the New York City bar and college scene. Playing legendary haunts like the Bitter End, the Limelight, and even headlining Irving Plaza without the benefit of a record deal, it appeared that the band was poised for bigger and better things. Signing to Clive Davis' label however proved to be the first step in the wrong direction. Led by talented front man Bill Campion, the band journeyed out West to beautiful Sausalito, CA, to record its debut with ex-Talking Heads man, Jerry Harrison. In a live setting, one of the band's charms had always been its ability to launch into spirited jams that encompassed a gamut flavors. Bongos would give way to hippie workouts and full on free-form jazz. Think, Rusted Root meets the Barenaked Ladies. Unfortunately, when the band tried to capture this on tape, it didn't work. Much to the contrary, songs like "Raga,," "It's a Fast Horizon," and "Piss Tongue" may have once sounded exciting in a club setting but in the studio they sound like a series of incomplete ideas. Bill Campion's stream-of-consciousness lyrics are even stranger. Lyrically, about half the songs on Life Begins at 40 Million make little to no sense. The band does a little better for itself on a track like "What's Behind your Coat," which sounds like it owes a lot to one Mr. David Byrne. With all its fine musicianship, Life Begins at 40 Million simply lacks direction and any semblance of cohesiveness. Interesting it may be, but better than average it isn't.

Customer Reviews

it maye be pointless but its still genius

i dont giv a crap if they dont make sense or not. these guys have sumthing in their msuic that just makes u wanna buy the whoel album. they are so different from any other band and they deserve alot more credit. the beatles had songs that made no sense and look how great they are these guys have real potential.

What happened to all the reviews?

There used to be scores (almost all very positive) customer reviews of Live Begins At 40 Million. Where'd they go Apple? There were two main themes in those reviews. One is that the iTunes review of this album may be the single most off-target review, ever. It is completely opposite the views of almost every purchaser of the album. The second is that once this album gets into your rotation, it's just about impossible to take it out. This album is outstanding. And for my money, over the past 3 or 4 decades, The Bogmen are the single greatest rock band not to have made it big. Buy it.

Worst description ever.

Totally agree with fxoleary. "Rusted Root meets Barenaked Ladies?" Nothing against those bands, they have their time and place, but if The Bogmen read this review, they would find each of those bands and burn their houses down.

I had this album on cassette and am downloading it again now because I wore the dang thing out from listening to the album over and over from start to finish. I originally bought the tape for the catchy "Suddenly" but quickly found a greater depth to this band's layering of sound behind some deep, meaningful lyrics. Their stage shows only augmented their relentless riffs and killer rythm. Saw them at TT the Bear's in Boston. First show I can remamber where the front man was pelting me with sweat from 10 yards away because he was using his body to hurl the lyrics at us. Buy this album.


Formed: 1993

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Borrowing elements of pop, rock, jazz, reggae, and soul, the Bogmen were formed in 1993 by Bill Campion (vocals/guitar), Bill Ryan (guitar), Brendan Ryan (keyboards), Mark Wike (bass), P.J. O'Connor (percussion), and Clive Tucker (drums). After two years of hopping the Northeast club circuit, the band was signed by Arista in spring of 1995. Their...
Full Bio
Life Begins At 40 Million, The Bogmen
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Customer Ratings